photo courtesy laffy4K at Flicker.com
Did you know that the day after Labor Day is the beginning of more resolutions than New Years Day? It’s true. Maybe it comes from our long years of going to school and the ingraining of this one day of the year being the key to a clean slate. A new teacher. Sometimes a new school. A new outfit. Fresh blank pages and umarred binders that you laid out with such forbidden pleasure that first day. Those who were in your peer group in June haven’t seen you for 10 weeks and you have changed. Grown up more, maybe you cut your hair or turned into a skater girl or became a Goth or a lover of punk and you are now adorned with safety pins in all available orifices. Who would you become if you were cut off from your primary mirrors for ten weeks?
I sent both of my kids off to school this morning knowing it was probably the only day this year they would both get up in a good mood when their alarms went off. Probably the only day when they both will have showered before they go to school. The one day that time and care was taken for my daughters’ hairstyle, when a quick ponytail wouldn’t suffice. This is the one day that the clothes were carefully pressed before bedtime and laid out on the floor like flat people waiting to be inflated or to receive the kiss of animation.
I’m not going back to school this fall and in some ways that makes me sad. I hate to miss the chance to grab onto the energy and possibilities surrounding it! So I won’t. I’m inviting you to create your own “Back to School” ritual for today with my Top 7 list below.
Here are a list of things you can do to kick off that new habit, or start that new project or put on that new filter you are going to see life through starting today, or take the first step to show the world the new person you became over the summer.
7 Ways to ‘Go Back to School’- When you Aren’t Going Back To School
- Go buy yourself new office supplies. One of the best parts of this time of year is the feeling that you could actually change your C or B to an A or A plus. You get to open a fresh page in the workbook of your life. With a new pen, a sharp pencil, with a package of 24 fruity colored and sweet smelling markers. Buy some today. You get to start from scratch and you can be anything you want to be this term. The last report card is dead and buried.
- Connect with friends. The ones you haven’t seen in 10 weeks. Meet them for lunch or coffee or Skype chat with them. Wear something brand new when you do it and talk about your new and rising passions. It will make those ideas more real and someone who hasn’t seen you for months is open for you to be different!
- Write “What I did on My Summer Vacation”. Bitch or be grateful, but take a moment to see what you did that you loved. Reminisce and take time to enjoy that summer read, that beach volleyball game or that crazy rained out camping trip all over again. Post a picture from the summer as your screen saver to remind you that you bloom when you take time off, rain or shine.
- Find a new teacher. Seek out one person who brings out the best in you and who you feel you can’t quite keep up with and let them inspire you to stretch to be more. A mentor is such a gift in life and school gave us new ones every year. That teacher who loved your writing and always gave you a great grade and passed you challenging things to read. The band teacher who gave you the solo in the Christmas concert. The people who saw the special light in you are still around you today. Notice one of them and make time to have them in your life starting now!
- Buy one new outfit that tells everyone who you are. Are you conservative? Are you leaning to the Bohemian lifestyle? Remember in school how obvious it was who was who? The button up shirt crowd, the metal t -shirt crowd, the ‘in’ girls and their straight, blunt cut manes that they flipped at incessantly? Take a look at your daily uniform. What do you want to change to more clearly tell the world who you really are?
- Make a contract with yourself about what is going to be different from this day forward. What useless time wasting behaviors are you ready to jettison and what new activities and goals do you want to embrace. Write it up now and date it and sign it. Post it where you can see it and reread every day for a week.
- Don’t sleep well for one night. It’s Back to School! Get excited about not knowing what a day would hold. Revisit a time when not everything was predictable and knowable. When life felt dangerous and you were groping for what friends were and what love was. Feel something deeply. Write a poem about it.
Hey, it’s the day after Labor Day! Reinvent! Clean slate yourself today.